Antti Niemi won the Stanley Cup and all it cost him was his job.
That is the harsh and impersonal reality when sports and economics clash, when teams have to dance around both salary caps and budgets, when circumstances of contractual obligations clash with the emotions of a championship victory.
As a goaltender who almost came from nowhere, Niemi played a huge role in the Blackhkawks historical Stanley Cup victory. He was the blank face in the dressing room, forever calm no matter the circumstances. He played by the rules. He took the Blackhawks to arbitration and ostensibly he won, being awarded $2.75 million US on a one-year arrangement.
He won -- and because of it he lost.
Do you think the Blackhawks can repeat as Stanley Cup champions after losing another piece of their championship? Have your say in our forum.